Joe Bike

The Monday Roundup: Oil ad ban, bike share bacteria, one less parking lot, and more

Posted by on February 3rd, 2020 at 8:02 am

Here are the most noteworthy items we came across in the past seven days…

New Amsterdam: Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is running for re-election on a platform of carfree, bike-oriented neighborhoods where you can get to everything you need in 15 minutes or less without using a car.

Ad ban: UK media giant The Guardian says they will no longer accept advertising from oil and gas companies because they take an active role in preventing action on climate change. How long until media companies start doing this to automakers?

Shoulders of giants: San Francisco’s Market Street is carfree and the SF Chronicle went into their archives to pay tribute to the activists that helped make it happen.

Duh: A fascinating new study validates what many bicycle riders have known for years about the behavioral tendencies of men who drive BMWs and Mercedes.

No more Dirt Rag: A pioneer of mountain biking media has called it quits. We are sad but grateful to have enjoyed the gift of Dirt Rag for so many years.

Bike share bacterium: Ever wondered about the germs on the saddle and grips of bike share bikes? If so, this new research on the topic is for you.

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Whose streets?: How much of our humanity has car culture taken away? A police officer in central California arrested a man who walks along the road with three mules because he wasn’t using a car. Repeat after me: Roads aren’t dangerous, drivers of cars are dangerous.

Scooter user discrimination: I’m so tired of cities getting tough on scooter users while they mostly just look the other way at auto users.

Do this, Portland: One of the way’s Vienna is fighting the War on Cars is to give people free admission to museums and other cultural sites if they show up by bike, foot, or transit.

Local Focus

Politics and bedfellows: Noted transportation reform activist (and BikePortland contributor/supporter) Scott Kocher made a donation to PBOT Commissioner Chloe Eudaly even though he’s a vociferous critic of some of the agency’s work.

One less parking lot: The Portland Parks & Recreation bureau plans to extend the North Park Blocks by one block north (adjacent PNCA) as part of the Broadway Corridor development.

Bow wow beer: Cycle Dog, a Portland company that makes dog products out of recycled bicycle inner tubes, has added a pub to their retail store.

Video of the Week

Someone in Berlin hacked Google Maps into thinking streets were full of cars so they wouldn’t be full of cars. It’s one way to reduce cut-through drivers from neighborhood streets! (H/T Go By Bike on Twitter)

Tweet of the Week

Alissa Walker shared a fantastic thread about all the car ads during the Super Bowl:

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

73 Comments
  • Avatar
    bikeninja February 3, 2020 at 8:39 am

    Love the google map hack with the cell phones in a kids wagon. Take that Wazers.

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  • Rivelo
    Rivelo February 3, 2020 at 8:49 am

    The Mercedes story reminds me of an old joke.

    Q: What’s the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine?

    A: With the porcupine, the pricks are on the outside.

    Recommended Thumb up 23

    • Avatar
      curly February 3, 2020 at 7:33 pm

      As a German car repair technician the joke is;

      Q: What’s the difference between a Porsche owner and a porcupine?
      A: The prick is behind the wheel…

      Recommended Thumb up 6

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    Dan A February 3, 2020 at 9:09 am

    FYI, pedestrian killed on Lombard:

    https://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/2020/02/pedestrian-dies-days-after-being-struck-by-a-vehicle-in-ne-portland.html

    This was the son of a family friend.

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      drs February 3, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      Absolutely tragic. Low visibility should never be a legitimate excuse for running over a person and ending their life with a motor vehicle. People should slow down when visibility is low.

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      • Avatar
        Chris I February 9, 2020 at 7:24 am

        Chevy Silverados have limited visibility even in good weather.

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    soren February 3, 2020 at 9:14 am

    The study that reported that men who own high-status cars tend to be more disagreeable, less empathetic, and less cooperative is not terribly surprising. I suspect that men who own high-status bicycles also tend to have these traits.

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    • Rivelo
      Rivelo February 3, 2020 at 9:42 am

      People who buy *anything* with the belief that the goods they’re purchasing confer “status” probably fall into that trap, regardless of their gender, and regardless of whether it’s a bicycle, a car, a fancy watch, an expensive camera, or a high-end stereo system.

      It’s possible to be kind and humble *and* appreciate quality construction, performance, and design. The consumers who are drawn merely by the “status” they believe is implied by their choice of those items are sadly not the connoisseurs they hope to be seen as, whether they realize it or not.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

        Specifically, the study noted that Finnish men who have certain personality traits such as “low agreeableness” tended to be drawn towards high status brands. This tells us that such people are more likely to own a high status automobile, but doesn’t tell us that those who own high status automobiles posses these traits. This finding would probably be true of other status items such as watches.

        “The results regarding agreeableness are consistent with prior work that has argued for the role of narcissism in status consumption.”

        I find this a mildly interesting, but largely unsurprising finding.

        https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ijop.12642

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      • Avatar
        Jason H February 3, 2020 at 10:49 am

        Exactly. From the conclusion of the very article:

        “The study also found that conscientious men and women—people who are organized, ambitious, respectable, and often high-performing—are also frequent owners of high-status cars, which Lönnqvist says likely reflects an appreciation for quality and an urge to present a self-image of classy reliability. You can probably tell the difference by whether or not they’re speeding, weaving through traffic, and cutting off pedestrians.”

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      Middle of the Road Guy February 3, 2020 at 9:45 am

      That’s ironic, coming from you.

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      • Rivelo
        Rivelo February 3, 2020 at 11:09 am

        Middle of the Road Guy
        That’s ironic, coming from you.Recommended 4

        Ha ha. I am basing my opinion on 20 years in the bike industry. I sold plenty of bicycles to customers —both men and women — who had zero concern for “status,” but were all about getting a comfortable, quality, beautiful, lifetime bike from a small company they felt good about supporting.

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        • Avatar
          Middle of the Road Guy February 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

          Sorry Rivelo, I meant Soren!

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      • Avatar
        q February 3, 2020 at 11:25 pm

        Why?

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      ed February 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      I just knew someone would go there Soren. Keep it up with the sexist stereotyping of other cyclists. You exhibit a long standing trait of those “in the know” cycling wise – the circular firing squad. Let’s all make crass, base assumptions of other cyclists not like us, roadies if you’re a mtn biker, vice versa if a mtn biker. If a commuter, sneer at both. If a woman then to male cyclists, and vice versa if a man. If owning less expensive bikes then go at it to those who invest more. Yep; really productive. Jonathan owns some high end bikes; is he in your classification too? Can you imagine the reaction here on bike portland if a man tried to push an outrageous stereotype about women cyclists? Please check yourself….

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      • Avatar
        Toby Keith February 3, 2020 at 7:23 pm

        Yeah don’t get me started on obnoxious women who drive SUV’s.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Rivelo
      Rivelo February 3, 2020 at 4:27 pm

      Middle of the Road Guy
      Sorry Rivelo, I meant Soren!Recommended 5

      Thanks, Middle of the Road Guy. I’m a semi-infrequent visitor to these BP discussions, so I don’t know all players or their viewpoint(s).

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    Adam February 3, 2020 at 9:33 am

    Not quite, but I can see why you were confused: “The answers were unambiguous: self-centered men who are argumentative, stubborn, disagreeable and unempathetic are much more likely to own a high-status car such as an Audi, BMW or Mercedes,” say the researchers in a press release.

    So, if you meet a jerk you can guess their car more confidently, not the other way around.

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    • Avatar
      q February 3, 2020 at 11:40 pm

      “So, if you meet a jerk you can guess their car more confidently, not the other way around.”

      The “not the other way around” may or may not be true. Jerks tend to drive Porsches and BMWs (from the study). But if there are a lot of jerks, and a lot of them choose Porsches and BMWs, then a higher percentage of owners of those brands will be jerks than is true of other brands. If there aren’t many jerks, it may be that only 1% of owners of Porsches and BMWs are jerks. If there are many, and they really do tend to favor those brands over others, it could be that, say, 50% or 60% are jerks. If that unknown percentage is high enough, you really could more confidently guess that someone driving that brand could be a jerk.

      My guess is you’re right, but it’s a guess.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 4, 2020 at 10:16 am

        I hope we’d all know by now that stereotyping a person by membership in a group is deeply problematic, even if it has some statistical basis.

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        • Avatar
          q February 4, 2020 at 2:03 pm

          I know that, but I’m not going to make any assumptions about anyone else knowing it, even if it may be statistically likely.

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    • Avatar
      GlowBoy February 5, 2020 at 3:51 pm

      re: museums and cultural venues giving free/reduced admission to non-car-arriving people: we do the opposite in this country. It’s (literally!) called “validating” your parking. I’ve never thought about what a poignant choice of words that is before, but now I can’t un-think it.

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    • Avatar
      GlowBoy February 5, 2020 at 4:05 pm

      The study may be right that the connection between a-holeishness and Euro luxury-car ownership is stronger among men may be true, but I’ve noticed a significant correlation among women too.

      I live in a place where people drive quite a bit more aggressively in general than in Portland, and on at least a monthly basis I see a really outrageous move, like crossing the centerline, or moving into the bike lane or parking lane and then speeding up to 50+ mph to pass other cars on a 30 mph city street comparable to, say, Stark Street. So I see some crazy shit. And one of the most egregious examples I’ve seen was committed by a woman in a Mercedes SUV.

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    John Lascurettes February 3, 2020 at 9:54 am

    That mule story is absurd and classist bullying. I hope some local lawyer takes up his case pro-bono. Top comment of the story is naturally about someone complaining that he was creating a “traffic hazard”.

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    • Avatar
      Lowell February 3, 2020 at 10:15 am

      Fortunately, Mule was able to retain a lawyer and get the charges dropped…

      “I am pleased to announce that District Attorney Dan Dow has advised me today, February 1, 2020, that the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office will be declining to file a criminal complaint against my client, Mule, ‘in the interest of justice.'”

      Found on the top post of the 3mules.com blog.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 10:56 am

      >>> That mule story is absurd and classist bullying. <<<

      You mean an agrarian gentlemen being harassed by working class riff-raff?

      I do agree that it is absurd.

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      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes February 3, 2020 at 12:40 pm

        The “working class riff-raff” were probably responding as required to multiple panicked mobile calls of “I almost hit a massive slow-moving object on the shoulder of the road. “

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm

          You mean calls from other working-class stiffs afraid of being late for work?

          Fundamentally we agree — those with the means and to travel leisurely by mule should not be bothered by those of lesser station. Classic classist harassment.

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          • Avatar
            X February 4, 2020 at 10:49 am

            Is a mule necessarily more expensive to maintain than a car? Cars can’t graze as they travel, and mules don’t need timing belts.

            How a person spends their time is their own business.

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          • Avatar
            Lowell February 4, 2020 at 11:39 am

            If you want to see the kind of money this “man of means” spends to live his chosen lifestyle, you can at https://3mules.com/expense-ledger/. Spoiler alert: his yearly expenses have never eclipsed $5,000.

            To argue that the people in cars calling the cops on him are of some lower class seems pretty ridiculous to me. He forgoes all sorts of creature comforts to live his chosen lifestyle, comforts that those lower-class, working stiffs would never ever give up. And he maintains a popular blog to foster a fanbase, from which he can solicit donations when he is short on money. Which is to say, he works too.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty February 4, 2020 at 1:32 pm

              I was satirizing the the conclusion that this was an example of class bullying.

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    • Avatar
      El Biciclero February 3, 2020 at 11:51 am

      The most absurd part of that mule story was that anyone could be arrested for “resisting arrest” per se. If officers anywhere can get away with that—whether or not the circular charges are eventually dropped—then we avoid tyranny only as long as Law Enforcement remains “benevolent”.

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      • Avatar
        Middle of the Road Guy February 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm

        “Stubborn mule cited for resisting arrest.”

        Well, of course.

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      • Avatar
        John Lascurettes February 3, 2020 at 2:04 pm

        Cops should have a really high burden of proof for resining arrest charges — most often requiring bodycam video. Because over and over, you see bystander videos that get the “resisting” charges dropped when without it the charge would have likely stood.

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        • Avatar
          El Biciclero February 3, 2020 at 3:52 pm

          Indeed, but it’s already worse than that in this case. An officer should NEVER be able to walk up to anyone and say “You’re under arrest…for resisting arrest”. You MUST be under arrest for something else before you can even begin to resist. Once you’re under arrest for some other legitimate charge, then you can resist and have “resisting” charges added to the list. By logic alone, “resisting arrest” can never, ever be the first charge.

          In this gentleman’s case, his failure to resist being arrested for “resisting arrest” only compounds the irony.

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          • Avatar
            GlowBoy February 5, 2020 at 3:54 pm

            Pretty common practice for cops to tack on a Resisting Arrest charge if you try to “argue” with them while being arrested. And that’s by their definition of arguing, which can include simply trying to inquire as to how you allegedly broke the statute in question. Happens all the time.

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  • Avatar
    EP February 3, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Re: Bike Share Bugs, I wonder how the bacteria on grips and seats compare to the bus, MAX, grocery carts, etc. Hopefully healthier people are riding bikes? Not sure though. I used to MAX to Union Station and grab a bike for the last mile to work. Usually wore gloves in the AM ’cause it was cold. Definitely had some sticky grips in the PM on summer days. I think it’s like any kind of public transit experience; always remember to wash your hands when you get where you’re going.

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    • Avatar
      SD February 3, 2020 at 11:16 am

      The bike share bug article is junk science. Basically they found bacteria that live on people are also on bike seats and the bacteria in air samples are different. The suggestion that this confers a greater risk of infection for bike share riders is thrown in for hype.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 11:22 am

        I’d be curious how these results would differ from examining bacteria on bar stools or door handles, or other surfaces frequently sat upon/gripped.

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        • Avatar
          John Lascurettes February 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

          Indeed. The synopsis itself said there was greater concentration about the bike surfaces than in the “surrounding air” — which would come as a big, fat “duh!”. What’s missing is how the levels of non-benign bacteria concentrations match to other commonly touchable surfaces — even as compared to single-user handlebars and bike seats.

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        • Avatar
          SD February 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm

          Most likely they would be statistically the same, which would be a surprise to no one and would probably not be published.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 2:29 pm

            Unlike the finding that bacteria in air differ from those on a bike seat. Obvious and unpublishable.

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            • Avatar
              SD February 3, 2020 at 7:52 pm

              Good point. The bias in this type of science publishing is usually weighted toward disproving the null hypothesis. Despite being peer-reviewed, this journal probably didn’t think much beyond the headline that bacterial pathogens were found on bike seats. I’m surprised/ not surprised that it made it into the lay press.

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      • Avatar
        GlowBoy February 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm

        People in this country are wayyy too germophobic. Much of the epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is due to overuse of antibacterial soaps and similar products. That stuff should never have been legal outside (1) hospitals, (2) by people with weakened immune systems, or (3) during pandemics. Allowing it to be used by the paranoid public has been a disaster responsible for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths over the years. Articles like this only fuel the stupidity.

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    • Avatar
      Jason February 3, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      I wonder, do healthier people actually carry more germs? If that sounds absurd, then I ask you, why would they carry less?

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty February 3, 2020 at 2:19 pm

        Do you define “germ” has any tiny creature (bacteria, protozoa, virus, etc.), or only those that cause disease?

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          Jason February 6, 2020 at 3:27 pm

          I think it’s intuitive to differentiate illness causing microbiology as germs. Separate from other tiny creatures.

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    Matthew in PDX February 3, 2020 at 10:01 am

    John Lascurettes
    That mule story is absurd and classist bullying. I hope some local lawyer takes up his case pro-bono. Top comment of the story is naturally about someone complaining that he was creating a “traffic hazard”.Recommended 0

    It would not surprise me in the least if the person/people complaining about John Sears and his mule train was some busy body whose aesthetic sense was affronted by an old dude and some mules. If I had to guess, it was a Karen wearing mules.

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    Jim Lee February 3, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Never saw Jon and Ponch pull a “CHiPS” bust on mules.

    Worf, he might.

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    BradWagon February 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Roads aren’t dangerous? I thought that was the premise behind the entire movement of improving bicycle infrastructure?

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      El Biciclero February 3, 2020 at 3:55 pm

      And the main focus of “improving” these days is “separation”. “Separation” from what? Inattentive drivers.

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      • Avatar
        BradWagon February 4, 2020 at 3:39 pm

        So you agree that we don’t need to change the roads, we just need to eliminate the cars?

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        • Avatar
          El Biciclero February 6, 2020 at 11:38 am

          “So you agree that we don’t need to change the roads, we just need to eliminate the cars?”

          Sorry, I couldn’t tell whether you were being serious or not. For clarity, there are some roads that might be dangerous due to sharp turns, train tracks, disrepair, etc., but for the most part, roads themselves are not going to injure or kill me if I use them while riding a bike. Nobody needs to be separated from the road, per se, but only from other users of the road that pose a threat. In that sense, roads, just lying there empty, are almost never “dangerous”. If you want instant danger, just add cars with impatient/inattentive drivers. Kind of a “shooting ranges don’t kill people, bullets do” situation.

          Now whether we can truly “eliminate” cars is another question. But sometimes I like to imagine an alternative universe where “roads are for people”, and cars need to have separated infrastructure to isolate them from everything they can so easily destroy.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty February 6, 2020 at 1:20 pm

            Arguably, the roads are already “for people” (a great many of whom choose to drive in cars), and auto infrastructure is generally separated from pedestrians.

            I think it’s helpful to remember that most people who drive don’t want to give it up. Your vision of utopia is their vision of hell.

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            • Avatar
              Jason February 6, 2020 at 3:17 pm

              Moral relativism is all fine. But objectively, hunks of metal and plastic propelled at unlimited velocity in all directions is not a utopia.

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              El Biciclero February 7, 2020 at 7:19 pm

              “and auto infrastructure is generally separated from pedestrians.”

              Most of the time. But when we think about who roads are for, we have to think about who is expected to use all the roads, and who is prohibited from using certain roads, either by law or by intimidation. People in cars have roads created for them that go literally almost everywhere. Ask Mr. Mule what happens if you try to get certain places on certain roads without a car.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty February 7, 2020 at 10:41 pm

                Who are roads for? They’re for people, of course. Most of whom drive or use other motorized conveyances.

                The failure in Mule’s case was improper policing.

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            q February 6, 2020 at 3:05 pm

            Your comments make me think—while roads are rarely dangerous to people biking or walking (it’s the vehicles on them that create the danger as you say) roads are often described as being dangerous for vehicles. While you don’t often hear of someone getting injured biking or walking and say, not making a curve, it happens often with vehicles. “The driver was killed when he failed to negotiate the curve”, “the driver hit the bridge pier while attempting to take the exit”, etc.

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              Jason February 6, 2020 at 3:20 pm

              “roads are often described as being dangerous for vehicles”
              I think you and I generally agree, but I take issue with this statement. Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but just because an operator was over throttling a curve does not mean the road is at fault.

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                q February 6, 2020 at 3:30 pm

                We agree totally. People are too quick to blame the road–not the driver–when a driver hurts themselves. And huge amounts of transportation budgets are spend on it.

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                El Biciclero February 7, 2020 at 10:50 am

                “People are too quick to blame the road–not the driver–when a driver hurts themselves. And huge amounts of transportation budgets are spend on it.”

                Ding-doodly-ding! We spend HUGE amounts on making sure drivers DON’T have to pay attention or have any particular level of skill in operating vehicles. I think a lot of drivers DO pay attention, AND have decent skills, but we (automakers and transpo departments) do indeed spend huge amounts to make attention and skill matter less and less—for drivers themselves. In the process, however, we are fomenting at least two negative (IMO) “externalities”:

                1. As long as the road is safe for drivers, the road is “safe”—all others caveat viator.
                2. If the road is unsafe for non-drivers, it isn’t the collective drivers’ fault, plus, see #1.

                We’ve created the expectation that if I’m driving, the only thing I really ever need to slow down—or even watch—for are other cars or traffic signals.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty February 7, 2020 at 11:06 am

                >>> We’ve created the expectation that if I’m driving, the only thing I really ever need to slow down—or even watch—for are other cars or traffic signals. <<<

                On highways this may be true(ish); it is decidedly not true on "regular" streets.

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                q February 7, 2020 at 1:23 pm

                I think it’s somewhat of an exaggeration, but based on some discussions recently on Nextdoor, it’s not far off for a sizable number of people. Someone will post about say, nearly getting hit while walking on the sidewalk by someone driving into a driveway, and many comments instantly go into, “I drive the speed limit and these pedestrians aren’t wearing reflective gear or lights, so it’s their fault if they get hit, even if they’re walking on the sidewalk”.

                The idea that you may need to slow down (due to weather, traffic, darkness) if you’re not going over the posted limit is especially prevalent–I don’t think by a majority, but at least by a sizable minority.

                And look at police reports–they’ll often mention, “The driver did not appear to be speeding (meaning going over the posted limit). The victim was wearing dark clothing. The conditions made it difficult to see.” Again, the standard seems to be, “as long as you’re going the speed limit, and watching out sufficiently to see people wearing reflective gear and lights, you’re meeting your obligations as a driver”. So not quite as bad as what El biciclero wrote, but still awful.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty February 7, 2020 at 3:32 pm

                I think we agree that humans have cognitive and biological limitations that make them highly imperfect drivers, and some are downright terrible at it. We’re especially bad at seeing dark figures at night in the kind of light-and-dark lighting that characterizes a moving urban streetscape.

                It may be your view that if a pedestrian is struck, it is automatically the driver’s fault. I don’t share that view, but I do believe that the driver should generally incur full liability when they injure someone. And it is my understanding that this is generally what happens.

                Since I see very little prospect of wholesale change in any of this, I say bring on the robot drivers. And keep lowering speed limits!

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    El Oso February 5, 2020 at 8:47 am

    I guess its fitting that the German car asshole correlation study is posted on this site. The same day a Mercedes is parked in 1/2 of the bike lane on Sandy just south of Burnside. Third day illegally parked in a 30 minute spot and still no ticket on it.

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      John Lascurettes February 5, 2020 at 10:45 am

      It’s not even in a 30 minute spot. Those are farther away from Burnside, closer to the bike corral. It’s IN the bike lane. There is no parking there. It’s illegally parked. I reported it via PDXReporter last night with photos. And the week before, there was a flatbed truck parked there multiple days. I may call one of the numbers today that the reporter site list. Maybe you can do the same. It could only help.

      If you have an illegal parking issue to report that is creating a safety hazard, please call Police Bureau at 823-3333. If you have illegal parking issues that are not urgent, can report them at 823-5195.

      Reporting in PDXReporter will result in a slower response to your report …

      Details:
      SE Sandy just south of E Burnside. West side of street.
      Oregon plates: 637 LRP
      Mercedes CLS 400 silver coupe

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